- Our Approach
Resolve to take a look at Public Relations
Disappointed in your advertising efforts lately? If you’re like a lot of marketing managers today, you’re not alone. The pressure is on to show a return on marketing investment (RMI). Advertising costs are high and proving its value can be difficult.
So what can you do? For many, the search for alternative media is on. Interactive DVDs, personalized Web sites and electronic newsletters are all the rage these days. But with all of these new toys to play with, many of us have forgotten or abandoned the more traditional, highly effective practice of public relations. That’s right, good ol’ fashioned PR. Nothing sexy here. Just roll-up-your-sleeves, in-the-trenches marketing.
Here are three reasons to give PR a closer look
PR is Credible
A good PR program allows your organization to communicate its message through third-party outlets. Let’s face it, when you’re shopping for a new car, would you rather hear how great the car is from the manufacturer or from a satisfied customer or industry analyst? Advertising is one-sided. Good PR is objective and convincing.
PR Showcases Your Expertise
Do you monitor trade publications’ editorial calendars? Do you monitor industry events for speaking opportunities? You’ll find dozens of opportunities to discuss how your company is addressing issues and trends of interest to your customers and prospects. Topics can range from leading edge research to a clever solution for a pervasive problem. By consistently cultivating relationships with the media and industry analysts, opportunities to showcase your expertise will come to you. These opportunities generate interest in your organization and its offerings, thus creating prospects who can be converted to customers.
PR Is Cost Effective
Before we start comparing the cost of PR to advertising, let’s see if it’s fair to do so.
|You control 100% of the content||You do not control all of the content|
|You control the timing||You do not control timing|
|You control the appearance||You cannot control appearance|
|You control the target audience||You cannot control dissemination|
The goal of advertising and PR is the same – to communicate key messages to a target audience to influence attitudes, perceptions and behavior that increase sales (community and investor relations notwithstanding). Advertising and PR are obviously different so comparing costs can be tricky. Also, they generally work best in tandem, not in isolation, so it may be best to consider a steady, strategic dose of both. Consider the pros and cons of each with respect to your marketing goals. PR isn’t right for every company, but, when it is, the costs to implement a highly effective program pale in comparison to other marketing initiatives. PR is hard work. PR takes persistence and patience. Good PR programs require research and planning. But Ries and Ries said it best in The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR – PR has the one thing that offsets any perceived disadvantage: credibility. Remember, Starbucks spent peanuts on advertising in its first 10 years of existence, instead using PR to build a $1 billion plus enterprise. Before spending thousands on your next ad placement schedule, consider whether or not a good PR program might deliver better results.